‘Stupid’ fuel gets another shot in green-car race
It’s lighter, abundant and ready to take on Tesla.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are gearing up to challenge electric vehicles again in the race for mass-market clean cars. This week, a much larger group of companies signed on to a global coalition aimed at drumming up government support for the technology that Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has derided as “mind-bogglingly stupid” for cars. The firms also pledged to find a cleaner way to produce the gas.
talked about as the ultimate solution for zero emissions in the auto industry for decades,” Hyundai Motor Co. Vice Chairman Yang Woongchul said on the sidelines of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. "There was reluctance because the technology of fuel-cell vehicles wasn’t mature enough, but now it is."
What the hydrogen believers need next is scale. The South Korean carmaker, the first to massproduce fuel-cell vehicles back in 2013, is doubling down on its efforts and this year announced plans to join forces with Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit to “lead industry standards.” The concept of hydrogen cars – that emit only water vapor – has failed to gain popularity after declining costs of lithium-ion batteries and more charging stations made EVs more affordable.
In the past five years, Hyundai has seen the cost of fuel-cell systems halve and it expects it to decline by at least another 50 percent in the next five years, said Yang. He is also a co-chair of the Hydrogen Council, whose size has quadrupled since it was formed 18 months ago to 53 energy and auto firms.
The Council is
els of management at Quicken and that he would be able to introduce “hundreds” of examples of loans that were part of the scheme.
A court decision in December, however, limited the department to seek recovery on claims from April 23, 2009, and after. The government’s original complaint alleges that Quicken’s fraudulent conduct occurred between Sept. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2011.
According to a Sept. 7 court order, the Justice Department reduced the number of loans and findings at issue from 487 on Sept. 1, 2017, to 125.
Morganroth said the government is seeking recovery on only 100 of those loans; the other 25 are to help bolster the government’s claims against the company. He said Quicken Loans originated 100,000 FHA loans during the case’s four-year timeframe.
“The government had to admit,” Morganroth said, “that the loan findings were baseless.”
The Justice Department declined to comment because the case is ongoing.
Goldsmith in the Sept. 7 court order said the reduction in loan findings at issue reduces the burden of expert testimony the government needs to prepare.
Buffone said in an earlier hearing that evidence included emails from company officials discussing the “bastard income” of borrowers. One email described how a customer was approved for a loan after he stopped paying other bills and his credit score dropped 100 points.
Morganroth said Quicken is top in quality and quantity for FHA loans, has the lowest default rate and continues to do business with FHA.
Court documents filed by Quicken attorneys say the company can prove it had proper underwriting practices, complied with program and contractual requirements, and did not make false claims. It denies the existence of speed bonuses.
Since the financial crisis, the Justice Department has reached settlements with several major lenders, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., SunTrust Banks Inc. and U.S. Bancorp, over poorly underwritten FHA loans.
Gilbert has said the company won’t settle. Morganroth said at the appropriate time, Quicken will motion to dismiss the remaining claims.
The Justice Department originally filed the case in Washington, D.C., but Quicken won its motion to move it to Detroit. A jury trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on March 11.
The concept of hydrogen cars – that emit only water vapor – has failed to gain popularity after declining costs of lithium-ion batteries and more charging stations made EVs more affordable.